by Brian McCabe
Mail News Editor
The Colorado Association of School Executives awarded state Rep. Jim Wilson (R-Salida) its 2019 CASEY Award during the 50th annual CASE Convention July 25 in Breckenridge.
“It was a real honor to receive this award,” Wilson said. “There have been some really outstanding people who have won the award, and I’m humbled to be in that group of people.”
The CASEY is one of the association’s highest awards, given to someone who has “made a significant and lasting contribution to public education, who has helped further CASE’s mission and vision, and who has served education at the local, regional or state level.”
Wilson said it was kind of ironic that he won the CASEY, which is usually given to someone working outside the education industry but supporting CASE, for his work as a state representative.
Wilson began his career teaching history and government and spent 16 years as a superintendent at three rural school districts before running for state office.
“Anyone who doesn’t know Rep. Wilson is missing out,” Lisa Escárcega, CASE executive director, said during the award ceremony. “He is a man of principle, and I’m hard pressed to think of anyone who has made the kind of impact he has, over so many years, and with such singular purpose and passion.”
Wilson was one of the leaders of House Bill 19-1262 this year, which provides state funding for full-day kindergarten.
Wilson said he is the third person from the Salida area to win the CASEY. He said the others were Ken Brandon, whose work with Support Our Schools Salida (SOSS) earned him the award, and Tom Massey, Wilson’s predecessor as a state representative.